Consumers' tooth whitening questions rang in as the top dental concern
Consumers' tooth whitening questions rang in as the top dental concern according to results from the Academy of General Dentistry's national toll-free hotline. More than 1,800 consumers called the SmileLine on July 20 to seek cosmetic and general dental advice from dentists attending the Academy's 48th annual meeting in Toronto.
Studies reveal more people are keeping their teeth longer, and as people age, their teeth age, too. Years of exposing teeth to coffee, tea, colas, red wine and smoking adds up and dulls the tooth enamel.
"More people with stained teeth are aware that they might benefit from whitening, which is a safe, effective means to brighten stained, discolored or dull teeth," says David Tecosky, DMD, FAGD, 2000 SmileLine coordinator. "It's one of the easiest things to do to improve your appearance."
Tooth whitening can be done at home. The dentist provides a special custom-fitted whitening tray and tooth-whitening gel. During the first visit, a plastic shell is molded to the teeth. The dentist will fill the mold with the gel, which will be worn in the mold for 30 minutes to a few hours. The patient then wears that gel and mold for a few hours a day for approximately one to two weeks.
The procedure takes place under dental supervision and the dentist ensures that the process proceeds safely. The dentist will also monitor for any problems or tooth or gum sensitivity.
"Talk to your general dentist about options available if you are interested in whitening your teeth," says Dr. Tecosky.